It acquired its name from its proximity to the ancient Egyptian capital of Thebes. During the Ancient Egyptian dynasties this region was dominated by Thebes and its priesthood at the temple of Amun at Karnak.
Around the 5th century, since it was a desert, the Thebaid became a place of retreat of a number of Christianhermits, and was the birthplace of Pachomius. In Christian art, the Thebaid was represented as a place with numerous monks.
Bagnall, R., J. Drinkwater, A. Esmonde-Cleary, W. Harris, R. Knapp, S. Mitchell, S. Parker, C. Wells, J. Wilkes, R. Talbert, M. E. Downs, M. Joann McDaniel, B. Z. Lund, T. Elliott, S. Gillies. "Places: 991398 (Thebais)". Pleiades. Retrieved March 8, 2012.